Tag Archive | art

For the love of Moleskines

When I was a kid, I never kept a diary. I tried once but with an older brother who constantly made it his mission in life to know any secret or tidbit of information that he might use to get something over on me; let me just say that it was not in my best interest. My husband, when we first got together had journals of all types, sizes and thicknesses and the timeline between his first journals to the last spanned for years. I have to admit it was a little intimidating but the concept of capturing time and even freezing it between pages turned walking down memory lane into a time capsule opening event.

A page about special things and moments to remember. The pocket on the right page holds a hand made envelope sealed with ticket stubs, ribbon left over from Christmas and a secret wish known only unto me.

Another writer that I follow who indelibly epitomizes any good parent in the struggle of getting their child to eat something new; posts mealtime reruns in reel time fashion to give the reader more scope for the imagination. This parent/author who celebrates the triumphs of successful food introduction can be found here on wordpress under 17 Bites. Incidentally, it is called 17 Bites because that is the magic number supposedly, that it takes to get someone used to the idea of eating a new food. Like 17 bites, it takes 14 to form a habit. 14 days that is.  I have to admit that I still to this day, do not write consistently but I do carry my journal with me everywhere and have the ability to write or doodle it in whenever it pleases me.

A small collection of finished moleskines

My husband introduced me to Moleskine journals because they are perfectly sized, bound in leather, stays shut with a built in rubber band and wears really well. Moleskine  also makes  bound journals with graph paper for doodle bugs,  blank pages for the artists and journals with maps for the traveler. There is quite a history about the moleskine and for a time my favorite was no longer being produced. But in recent years moleskines, like so many other things have made a popular resurgence. There is quite a following or fan club if you will, of moleskine users and unlike the days of old when a person would never dare share anything from their personal diary or journal, moleskines are put on internet display by their owners to share their unique work and artistic talent.

Covered in a photocopy picture of architecture from a coffee table art book by Leonardo da Vinci.

What I love about mine is that I found a way to better protect them from the elements. As a paper crafter with a black belt in pasting anything together at any angle, I have been waterproofing my journals with decorative paper stock and deco podge. This glue like lacquer repels water, coffee, coolaide or anything else in liquid form that could possibly be spilled on, splattered or accidentally placed into. You simply use a glue stick to place each piece of paper where you want it on the outside cover and allow it to dry for an hour or two.  Afterwards apply a coat of deco podge with a paint brush (try not to go over the same areas repeatedly before it has a chance to dry or the paper will eventually tear.) I usually apply one coat, allow it to dry then apply a second coat and call it done. Shampoo, rinse, repeat…just kidding. After a day or two of drying and hardening, you have a journal that can really stand the test of time.

Japanese paper piecing copied from an artist off Deviantart.

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That Pivotal Moment

Time it seems has a rhythmic way in keeping people moving with it, forming that familiar yet comfortable rut  so widely talked about. Sometimes I have to remind myself that changing what I eat for lunch (egg salad instead of smoked turkey) is not enough of a deviation to break me from the norm.

Last Friday however, Michael took me out on a day long date to The Modern Art Galleries and the Impressionist exhibits at the Kimbell Art Museum in Ft. Worth. For the first time in my life, I gazed into masterpieces of Renoir, Degas, Monet, Manet, Boldini, Sargent and more. The emotions that washed over me the instant we set foot into the first wing, was strong and mixed; to which I can say that if my face were registering my feelings as they came and changed like the flood tide they were, I can only imagine my features must have had the look of sheer delight bordering on hysteria.  Oddly enough though, there seemed to be a lot of first timers there with the same “strained to keep composure” look about them, I’m sure nobody paid any attention to mine. After spending the first 15 minutes reminding myself that almost everything I was looking at was more or less 142 years old, I was able to settle down and really enjoy myself.  Having first been filled with symmetry in the “Catharine Collection” at the Modern Art Gallery and married it to my experience of designs and color from Henri Rousseau’s “The Snake Charmer” I had quite an overwhelming desire to make some art of my own.

Though I have  had a running list of what my upcoming quilting projects were going to consist of, I am of the mind to go off the beaten path; from carbon copying other patterns to designing a one of kind piece. Since quilting is my thing and it seems to still be making me happy at the moment, there is no time like the present to toss my hat into the collective creative ring to make something extraordinary. My husband said he had to forgo the gym last night because he had to work from home. After I got back from a rigorous work out, I found out he made a trip to Joann’s. I was about to give him a really hard time, but I found a magazine on the couch… McCall’s Quilting ‘America makes Fast Quilts and in it was a lovely expose’ “ Petal Power Duo.”  Now after having spent a good deal of time thinking about works of art, I had to admit  this is what I was talking about.! My daughter Dallas left her art kit when she went back to California in February, so I brought it with me for the day. Armed with pencils, pastels, water colors and oils, I literally have all I need to create a masterpiece that will hopefully last the test of time.

Petal Power Duo – Quilt


How to assist your cat in making butterfly envelopes-Mailart Part 2

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I was feeling pretty good when I got home from work and dinner was fast and easy enough to allow me to continue the journey as promised. Below you will find step by step instructions to making butterfly & multicolored butterfly envelopes. Down at the bottom of everything, I thought I would touch a little on Vellum and included a photo of a few more items made using products such as rubber stamps, ink, ribbon and other cutesy items (previously discussed in part 1) that can all be bought where craft items are sold.

  1. Using scrapbook size paper, select your color/s and or paper designs.
  2. Fold your paper in half, turn it and fold it in half again until you have vertical & horizontal lines running through the middle of your paper.
  3. Poke your cat to instigate playful behavior.
  4. Turn your paper to plain side and place the protractor on the inside edge and center it on the folded line.
  5. Trace the entire outside edge of the protractor from one side to the other.
  6. Turn your paper and trace until you have 4 arc’s on the inside of your paper.
  7. Cut your butterfly out.
  8. Fold each wing down until it makes a square shape.

Now you have a single butterfly envelope. For a more decorative and multicolored envelope, make two of these and follow the instructions below.

  1. Cut wings opposite each other to make and oblong shape.
  2. Turn one oblong piece and place inside the other.

You can place a note inside of these or simply use the blank portion as your stationary.  I have done both in the past. What’s really fun to do, is use paper punches to make confetti for these or close them up with a decorative brad if your going to hand deliver it. I like to wrap it in ribbon or use a decorative sticker of some sort.

Vellum is my second favorite paper because you can put it in a printer. Using a calligraphy type font, you can print out a poem on vellum and cut it to fit your butterfly envelope. Carefully placed inside it brings the level of decoration up a few notches. Vellum, though transparent comes in different shades like pink and blue or gray which is fantastic because it can be used as an accent color as well as giving it a formal or vintage look to your envelope. You can use this technique to hand out as invitations to baby showers, candle parties, brunch etc…  The possibilities are really endless, so long as you have an imagination. You can seal this envelope up with glue stick or sticker of choice if you plan to send it US post as a non machined item. Just make sure you don’t forget to add the extra postage for handling charge.